CasaBlanca Resort and Casino invites all barbecue and food fanatics to indulge in traditional American barbecue from award-winning vendors and a refreshing beer garden, Friday, Sept. 7 through Sunday, Sept. 9.

This free event is open to the public and will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday and end at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Food vendors will include Chicago BBQ Company, Texas Outlaw BBQ and Austin’s Texas Lightning BBQ, as well as beer vendors such as 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing, Bud Light and Budweiser. Family-friendly events will take place with watermelon and pie eating contests, live entertainment, barbecue and carnival food vendors and more. Tickets to nightly entertainment on Friday and Saturday are available for purchase on the resort’s website.

Notable food vendors:

Austin’s Texas Lightning: Austin’s Texas Lightning was created after the owner, Nikki, had spent years working with her father, Tom Ferguson. After she was bitten by the BBQ bug, she went out on her own and started Austin’s Texas Lightning. Nikki has more than 30 years of experience serving award winning BBQ. The Austin’s Texas Lightning team has won numerous awards on both the national and local level including first place at the 2018 Mankato Ribfest, fifth place at the 2017 Best in the West Rib Off and has taken home Best Ribs and People’s Choice awards twice at Ribs on the River.

Chicago BBQ Company: Owner and BBQ expert Tom Ferguson, after retiring from owning a chain of Italian restaurants in suburban Chicagoland, had a vision of creating Chicago’s ultimate BBQ experience.

In 1985 Tom started competing in national rib cook-offs. One year later, in 1986 he won the title of Best Ribs in The World at the Richmond World Invitational Rib Cook-Off. He has been going strong ever since with over 300 national and local competition awards, including placing No. 1 at 2017’s Best in the West Rib Festival, widely considered the best rib festival in the nation.

Texas Outlaw BBQ: Best known for its ribs, Texas Outlaw BBQ boasts more than 250 first place awards in its 25 years. Awards include five-time, first place winner at “Naperville Rib Fest,” five-time, first place winner at the “Nugget Best in the West Rib Cook-Off” and the only team to take first place at “Pig in the Pines” five times.

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